Monday, October 31, 2011

A Weekend Walking around Madrid

Or perhaps I should call this "A Saturday Walking around Madrid", since I'm pretty much going to ignore the 2h walking around on Friday, leave the Sunday for another post and just share the tale of 6-7h walking around on a lovely autumnal Saturday... It was definitely a fabulously crazy and exhausting weekend in Madrid... wonderful! An opportunity to get together with several people from my "Belgian" group of friends (of which only 2 are actually Belgians, lol!) to hang out and enjoy lots of talking, walking, eating and dancing. What more could one ask for?

We started out from my friend's house near the Atocha train station (designed by French architect Eiffel, better known for a little tower he built in Paris and a statue in New York)

Estación de Atocha

We stopped briefly to gaze up at the Reina Sofia museum (20th century art) and made plans to come back in the evening (free admission on Saturdays after 16h!).

Museo Reina Sofía

Wandering up the Paseo del Prado we happened upon this very unique garden:

That can't be easy to maintain!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

La Nocturne des Coteaux à Liège

a.k.a. my favourite night of the year in Liège! :o)

This is one of the times I miss being in Liège,  what I consider to be the most awesome night of the year in that city! When the oldest part of the city and the hillside gardens and forest that lead up to the old Medieval walls are all glowing with candles and lanterns and music fills the air! In honour of that I'm adapting and reposting a post I wrote two years ago on my other blog.

Since 1993 the first Saturday in October is the "La Nocturne des Côteaux de la Citadelle" in Liège. I think I've been 4-5 times (I lose count), I chickened out one rainy year and then another when it was too "damp" (threatening to rain) and I had a nasty cold

I enjoyed the main website's description so I think I'll just paste it here (pix are all mine):
At the heart of the oldest quarters of the city...
Liège by night....
On the slopes...

For one enchanting evening Liège reveals itself as you have never seen it before. During the Nocturne, back streets, courtyards, steps, terraces, pathways, fields and orchards are accessible for all to see. Subtle lighting, music, entertainment and an atmosphere of celebration await at every turn.
With their 60 monuments, 5 listed sites, and 28 ha of well preserved green spaces, the Coteaux de la Citadelle, the slopes of the citadel, are a unique reminder of the ancient landscape of Liège.
On a mild October evening, a unique opportunity to wander and discover these little known walks softly lit up by over 15,000 candles and other lights. Musical and theatrical events take place throughout the evening, and many places open their doors to the rest of the world.
Every year an increasing number of heritage lovers, curious visitors, and people looking for that very special atmosphere, discover the Nocturne’s magic. Whether a loyal nocturne visitor or newly attracted to the concept, this is a chance for everyone to enter a place of magic and surprises, a backstage to the city of Liège.
To say it's quite enchanting would be an understatement! Candles, lanterns, braziers... professional musicians, amateurs... everything from classical music to folk to rock to heavy to electric. Marionette shows, street theatre and a fabulous fireworks show to wrap it all up at 23h30!

So, what say you? Ready for an eerie walk through gardens and alleys and cobblestone streets lit only by a multitude of candles?

Ok then! Follow me! (remember you can make the photos bigger by clicking on them)